Badger GP Formula 1 isn't boring. 2017-07-19T09:07:53Z https://badgergp.com/feed/atom/ WordPress https://badgergp-x9ecz75q73bk.netdna-ssl.com/images/2016/01/cropped-badger-b-retina-32x32.jpg Craig Norman <![CDATA[The Top 5 from Silverstone]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=923629 2017-07-19T09:07:53Z 2017-07-19T09:07:53Z It's a classic venue yet its time is numbered - Silverstone hosted yet another intriguing and exciting British Grand Prix with plenty of bang for it's buck.

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It’s a classic venue yet its time is numbered – Silverstone hosted yet another intriguing and exciting British Grand Prix with plenty of bang for it’s buck. Read on to find out our Top 5 stories coming from the afternoon’s events!

Kvyat under pressure

Image: Octane Photos

They call Daniil Kvyat the Torpedo and he lived up to the ironic nickname on the very first lap at Silverstone. Instead of giving his Toro Rosso teammate Carlos Sainz plenty of room and look to give the team the best chance at some strong points, the Russian ended up squeezing him out of the race and setting himself back a lap.

After a strong start to the season, it’s almost like Kvyat has reverted back to the form that saw him relegated back to the Red Bull junior team and created whispers of his F1 career being blown out of the water. Kvyat is now back under pressure and needs to perform better, for himself and the team. How bad is it? Daniil has scored more penalty points than world championship points in the last two races. That’s how bad it is.

Pirelli goes pop for Ferrari

GP GRAN BRETAGNA F1/2017
© FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO PER FERRARI MEDIA (© COPYRIGHT FREE)

Most title battles have enough twists and turns before the final outcome, and many are memorable. Of those, most involve a driver error or a bad strategy call, but not many are based on the official tyre supplier failing to meet their mandate. Yet in Britain, we might just have got that exact outcome.

In the space of a handful of laps, Kimi Raikkonen lost an impressive second place and Sebastian Vettel fell down the field to an eventual seventh. Raikkonen recovered to take the last place on the podium but that was only as Red Bull wanted to prevent the same from happening to Max Verstappen and they brought him in.

Now Vettel and Ferrari are on the back foot with one race to go until the summer break – it’s now four races without a victory, a 20 point lead in the championship has been reduced to just one and teammate Raikkonen is coming into a purple patch of form and outperforming the German. Has the challenge become nothing more than hot air?

Silverstone rewards hard chargers

Image: Octane Photos

There were plenty of great, gutsy performances on Sunday afternoon. Daniel Ricciardo’s drive through the field from 19th to 5th was a great example of being in the right place at the right time – many of the places he made up were due to issues with other cars but he made it work to climb up the order. Valtteri Bottas also put in a great recovery drive to move from 9th to 2nd, and Nico Hulkenberg, hampered by a slower car like his Renault, put in a great shift to hold on to a plucky 6th.

Silverstone is a track that is fast flowing and truly rewards those who are late on the brakes and willing to throw the car into the high-speed sections. All three of the above did so to secure great results, but the greatest result would be Liberty negotiating a better deal for the home of British motorsport and ensure that this gem of a track continues to see action.

Verstappen vs Vettel

Its been a long few races for Max Verstappen – well, a short few races once you take into consideration his Red Bull’s reliability. He was back in the mix against Sebastian Vettel this race and didn’t disappoint when it came to bringing the excitement, as both duked it out in spectacular fashion.

Now, people may think that this isn’t pure racing as they both left the track to prevent a rival getting back at them, but it was a heart stopping moment brought to life by fantastic team radio.

Lewis answers the critics

Image: Octane Photos

Being that there’s a Brit in with a shout of the world championship and we were in Britain the majority of the focus would be one Lewis Hamilton. But, then again, this is Lewis Hamilton we’re talking about – criticism is never far away.

Heading into the weekend the talk was about how Hamilton had been the only driver on the grid to miss the large promotional event in London as he wanted a few days to recharge. Yet heading out of it, it seems that Mykonos in Greece will now be the destination for those 19 drivers other drivers each and every summer from now on.

Hamilton is at his best when his back is against the wall. It’s almost uncomfortable for him to take a season and dominate; his title triumphs have been against adversity and adversaries – such as Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg – and Sunday was another example of this. Fighting back the criticism of not being in London by not just winning the race, but dominating it, is the Lewis Hamilton we know and love.

Matching Jim Clark’s and Alain Prost’s record of British GP wins gives him the right to joke that he “owned” Silverstone, and on Sunday he did. Another result like this Hungary and the summer break will be a sweet one for Hamilton.

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Emma Thomson <![CDATA[The Top Dog for Britain is…]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=923622 2017-07-17T05:48:58Z 2017-07-16T21:04:30Z In the week when the very future of the British Grand Prix was thrown into doubt, who managed to nab the prize of Top British Bulldog at the revered Silverstone circuit?

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In the week when the very future of the British Grand Prix was thrown into doubt, who managed to nab the prize of Top British Bulldog at the revered Silverstone circuit?

So many contenders in what turned out to be an explosive race – literally in the case of the Ferrari front left tyres! There were some cracking drives up and down the field, full-on wheel bumping overtakes (cheers Max and Seb) and tenacious recovery drives from the likes of Bottas and Ricciardo.  But the Top Dog Silverstone supremo has to be the history man himself…

…LEWIS HAMILTON

Image: Octane Photos

Sometimes it’s about more than just the driving.  

Don’t get me wrong, Lewis drove like a dream for the entire weekend.  That’s pretty much become a given at his home race these past few years.  Hamilton has now notched up four consecutive British Grand Prix victories, five in all – equaling the tallies of F1 legends Jim Clark and Alain Prost.  That’s some pretty special company.

He bossed qualifying by half a second. Yep, you heard that right. Just two more pole positions and he will surpass the all-time record of Michael Schumacher. He led every lap, entertained us with some customary Hammertime whilst keeping his beady eye on the state of his tyres. Granted, he didn’t have to overtake anyone and was never seriously troubled by any of the cars behind. But that is precisely the kind of scenario where drivers can lose concentration and make a massive booboo. Not Lewis. Not at Silverstone. It means too much to him. Oh, he got the fastest lap too, in case you were wondering. Frankly, they should just give him the keys to the place.  

Records and accolades are one thing and Hamilton has undoubtedly earned his place in the pantheon of British Grand Prix greats. But what wins him Top Dog honour for this race is his astonishing effort to engage with fans.  In the days leading up to Silverstone, the media were stirring the doo-doo about Lewis’s no-show at the F1 Live event in London.  Hamilton had to deflect a barrel load of criticism about his attitude to the sport, the fans, his team, his competitors, his country, Uncle Tom Cobley and all!

While some viewed Lewis missing such an important event as a colossal own goal, he believed he should prioritise some time out to prepare for his home race.  

Who are we to argue? Especially when he wins so emphatically and gives so much back to the home fans. You can almost feel the love oozing out the TV screen as Lewis devotees clamour for selfies, autographs and high fives with their hero. He even made himself late for the obligatory press conference to spend a few more moments with spectators (much to the Ice Man’s delight!). Images of his crowd surfing antics have become iconic overnight. Rock star-like adoration is rare in this sport. Anyone who doubted Lewis’s dedication to his sport or to his supporters is probably pretty quiet right about now. Of course, he will always have his detractors – and sometimes their criticism is entirely justified.  

But for now, we should marvel at Hamilton’s Silverstone performance on and off track. He even gets extra Badger points for his comedy slo-mo run to the top step of the podium!

Image: Octane Photos

The gap to Sebastian going into Hungary has been slashed to one single point.  Nice work, Lewis – you thoroughly deserve your Top Dog award.

Deputy Dogs

In a race packed with terrific drives, special mention goes to Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg. We have been deprived of seeing the Dutch boy wonder in the thick of the action for far too long.  What a treat it was to see him driving like a demon once more, all the way to the chequered flag. His ‘round the outside’ pass on Vettel at Village corner was an absolute corker as was defensive driving masterclass through Stowe and Vale. Welcome back, Max. Hulkenberg was superb in qualifying and punched above his weight in the race to finish a well-earned 6th

Halfway through the season already. Who will be premier pooch in Budapest? Follow Badger GP in two week’s time and all will be revealed.

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Craig Norman <![CDATA[Will there ever be a London Grand Prix?]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=916305 2017-07-15T06:25:03Z 2017-07-13T08:22:46Z F1 London Live may have been a great success, but don't hope for a London GP any time soon explains Craig Norman.

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Holding a Formula One race on the streets of London isn’t a new idea. For the past two decades, it’s been dredged up as many times as the Thames, but it’s curious that a day after the owners of Silverstone decided to announce their intentions to break their current contract in 2019 the city held a large fan gathering the likes of which hasn’t been seen for a while. It’s a classic bait-and-switch that politicians pull all the time – cover up the bad news of the eventual loss of Silverstone with the hope that London has the capacity to take its place on the calendar.

F1 seems to have a small obsession with racing on the streets on the English capital and has put on demonstrations in the past to showcase the sport. One of the last larger ones was the 2004 event, which saw the likes of Martin Brundle and Nigel Mansell drive Jaguars and Jordans respectively.

Yet that was 13 years ago and, despite 500,000 fans lining Regents Street to see their heroes, still no race has materialised. Instead, it’s been the scene of promotional stunts more than anything else, like Mark Webber’s pit stop on Parliament Square in 2010, and Santander’s attempt to cash in on the London Olympics by designing a track around most of the city’s landmarks and have Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton describe each and ever corner.

Badger even got in on the act in 2012

The tangible proposal of a London Grand Prix has been mooted since 2011, with Bernie Ecclestone known to have backed the idea and having offered to cover the cost of staging the event as late as last summer.

The romanticism of Formula One cars on the streets of London holds weight. The category’s roots are based in Britain yet events over the past 67 years have traditionally been held at purpose-built race circuits of Brooklands, Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Donington Park, so the switch to a street circuit would see a change in tradition. Yet to take it to a hub of tourism that sees 30m visits annually, anyone would find it hard to justify closing the roads around major attractions for a week’s setup, let alone a three-day weekend. Add in the increased security that would be required to police everything and the romanticism is slowly replaced by a logistical headache.

It could use a solution other proposed venues in recent years went with, like New York, in the fact that it instead of being held in the heart of the city or moved to the outskirts to save face. The Grand Prix of America was planned to be held in New Jersey, with Manhattan being part of the skyline instead of the actual venue; it sat in development hell for three years as plans for funding came and went before disappearing from sight and mind. The Olympic Park could be a possible place for a makeshift track to be built around, following suit of the Russian Grand Prix’s location in Sochi.

With Las Vegas, a return to Sin City was mentioned in passing by Bernie in March last year – leading to this thorough investigation from Badger – but the interest has cooled now Ecclestone isn’t pulling the promotional strings.

Motorsport has appeared in London in recent years; pioneering electrical series Formula E held race weekends in 2015 and 2016 at Battersea Park and saw attendances of over 60,000, but attracted some criticism from local residents who pointed out that setting up and staging the races had used considerable numbers of traditional fossil-fuelled vehicles that did little to support the environmentally-friendly message the events were trying to push.

Image: Formula E

However, the real stumbling block facing Liberty, quite apart from the logistics of setting up the race and making it safe, would be financial. Even with covering staging costs – something that they could quite easily do –  the race fee would have to be met by the city itself, or, more importantly, the elected London Assembly. As with other countries in a climate of austerity, a use of public funds would attract considerable opposition, and the whole topic would be a political hot potato that no one would want to be caught holding for too long; endorse it and you alienate you non-F1 constituents who care for the environment, condemn it and you disappoint the tourism boards and stifle business opportunities.

London could, would and should be a fantastic venue for a Formula One race, a spectacle that the sport thrives on and a city that would add more prestige to its calendar. However, the planning is still a long way off from what Bernie would have expected, let alone F1’s new ringleaders Liberty.

Don’t’ be confused by the hype that surrounded F1 London Live; enjoy it, yes, but remember it was a marketing event designed to get more people to attend races and buy merchandise for the health of the sport. For now, London is stuck in a state of limbo that no potential venue wants to be in; too complicated and controversial to actually take place, but simple enough to arrange fleeting demonstrations that create a false sense of hope. If it becomes nothing more than a traditional fanzone to help connect with F1’s audience, the rumours will always be ripe for discussion.

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Craig Norman <![CDATA[Video – Max Verstappen and Christian Horner preview the British Grand Prix]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=905457 2017-07-11T20:28:41Z 2017-07-11T20:28:41Z Mobil 1 The Grid spoke to Dutch teenager Max Verstappen, as well as RBR Team Principal Christian Horner to find out their views on Silverstone.

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With Silverstone just a short drive from the team’s base in Milton Keynes, the British Grand Prix represents something of a second home race for Red Bull Racing.

Mobil 1 The Grid spoke to Dutch teenager Max Verstappen, as well as RBR Team Principal Christian Horner to find out more about the track, the British fans and the opportunities in store for the team ahead of the race.

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Craig Norman <![CDATA[Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 is GO GO GO!]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=843695 2017-07-13T12:18:38Z 2017-07-10T13:00:29Z Playsport Games announces it's sequel to the highest-rated motorsport game on the App Store - Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 launches July 13.

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Before Playsport’s Motorsport Manager hit mobile platforms a few years ago, the market for management-based simulators was limited, even non-existent. But the genre is being revitalised by the company’s expansion into PC and Mac platforms last November, and now they’re returning to their roots with a sequel to their original – Motorsport Manager Mobile 2.

Get it now for iPhone and iPad

Billed as “the deepest, most realistic simulation of motorsport that you can get in your pocket”, MM Mobile 2 has been designed from the ground-up to take advantage of the latest mobile technology. One of the frailties of the original was the ability to suss out patterns of winning, but now Playsport says that the opposition is always thinking, evolving new strategies as the season progresses around 16 beautifully-rendered 3D tracks, on an epic journey around the planet, from Cape Town to Beijing to Sydney.

Being able to develop into the larger PC and Mac markets has meant many new features find their way into the mobile equivalent. Drivers now age, improve, sign for different teams, and then retire, with the cycle of youngsters coming in to take their place. The fortunes of teams can rise and fall over the course of seasons, and a dynamic driver market means that no two managerial careers are exactly alike.

The race simulation has been given a huge upgrade and is full of authentic detail. The racing action is more dramatic than ever too, with spins and mistakes making for fascinating strategic questions. More tyre compounds are available, as well as Engine Modes, Team Orders and even Refuelling Rules.

The news will be welcomed by the number of fans that enjoyed the simplicity and addictive nature of the first Motorsport Manager, but who may have felt left out last year, and main time for playing was on the daily commute to and from work. MM Mobile 2 bridges the gap between both versions and compliments the strengths of both; the ability to play on the go and drop in and out of gameplay easily, but not being as simple as to get bored quickly once you’ve found a rhythm and pattern to events in the game.

Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 launches July 13 and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, with an Android release to follow in early August, and will be priced at £3.99 / $3.99 / €4.49. 

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Craig Norman <![CDATA[The Top Dog for Austria is…]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=843691 2017-07-10T20:25:32Z 2017-07-10T10:25:21Z ...quicker than the blink of an eye.

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A good television show or movie can be defined by the cast of supporting characters surrounding the main protagonists. Seasons in sport also follow this line of thought and in Austria, one of the other, stronger drivers in the field staked a claim for the plaudits. Step forward…

Valtteri Bottas

Image: Octane Photos

Austria 2017 won’t go down as a modern great. Like some movies you’ve seen and heard great things about, that’s a matter of interpretation, but the beginning was good and it had a great ending and it sagged mostly in the middle. The bulk of the plot was convoluted and was hard to follow unless you invested your time in it and knew the mythos. Put simply, it was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Or Die Hard 4.0.

Yet the hero of the piece – the strong, silent type of Bottas – spent most of the race absorbing pressure like every good action hero does. In a race of two halves, separated by the single pitstop, Bottas drove with force and precision to keep Sebastian Vettel at bay, aided by a start that was so razor sharp that both Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo question the legality. The FIA declared it completely by the book, however, but it became a plot point that Vettel couldn’t quite compute.

This result now begs the question; is Bottas a title contender? The performance and the points difference – the Finn is now 35 points off Vettel and only 15 behind teammate Lewis Hamilton – has made many stand up and take notice that a continued run of form could see him becoming the fly in the Vettel vs. Hamilton narrative.

For now, Valterri should bask in the glow of the spotlight. One race doesn’t make a season, but it certainly can start a championship charge, and in Austria, Bottas’ campaign to be in the running come awards season got a well-earned and well-deserved boost.

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Craig Norman <![CDATA[Martin Brundle joins Club Shoey, Valtteri Bottas declines]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=843680 2017-07-09T21:57:04Z 2017-07-09T21:19:16Z Thanks to Daniel Ricciardo's post race antics there's now quite the number of people who have drunken out of his racing boots on a Formula One podium, and a British favourite just joined the list.

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Thanks to Daniel Ricciardo’s post race antics there’s now quite the number of people who have drunken out of his racing boots on a Formula One podium. Recent non-F1 victims include Hollywood actors Gerard Butler and Sir Patrick Stewart, but after his fifth successive podium this season in Austria, the Aussie went back to his F1 roots.

Sky Sports F1 pundit, podium interviewer and one of the nicest men to come from East Anglia, Martin Brundle, has now officially joined. And he wasn’t invited, he volunteered – the shoe will now be auctioned off for charity, according to Brundle himself.

As for race winner Valtteri Bottas, he was more than happy to decline his invitation. But if he keeps up this kind of form, and forces his way into the championship hunt, he might find it hard to refuse next time.

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Sarah Merritt <![CDATA[The Top 5 From Austria]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=843851 2017-07-09T22:16:22Z 2017-07-09T21:08:53Z Perhaps not the most exciting race, but here are Badger's 5 yodelling points from the Austrian GP.

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Well, it wasn’t the most exciting race, but after Baku, it was always likely to be less so – especially when the promised rain failed to arrive!

Break Out The Lederhosen!

Photo Credit: @MercedesAMGF1 on Twitter

Ah, Austria, with its beautiful scenery. The undulating track at Red Bull Ring provided a fabulous backdrop for the race weekend, and of course, we’d expected some traditional attire to come out of the closet. The Toro Rosso and Red Bull drivers all took it all in their stride and played along at their team’s home circuit.

https://twitter.com/redbullracing/status/884006057420488706

They certainly pulled off the look a little better than their team principals did and of course, for a much shorter time as they were swiftly into their racesuits, whilst Franz Tost, Christian Horner and Helmut Marko remained traditionally attired!

Photo Credit: Damon Hill – @HillF1 on Twitter

A Sea Of Orange

The hills (and grandstands) were certainly alive with Max Verstappen fans at the Red Bull Ring and not, as #RBSpy tweeted in jest, McLaren fans. We liked that tweet, though…

https://twitter.com/redbullracing/status/884004269241794560

Anyway, on a more serious note, it was great to see so many fans out in force to support Max, and we really felt for them (and him) when he was taken out at the start of the race. As Max himself said “I also feel disappointed for all the Dutch fans as they have travelled a long way. I wanted to put on a show for them but I could not even complete one corner today. We will, of course, try to do better at Silverstone.

I’m sure the Dutch lion that we see at so many races, @LegoMax33, and the other #GoMax Verstappen fans will be hoping for that too.

The Perfect Start?

It was lights out, and away we went…but did the driver on pole get away sooner than he should have?

Certainly, Daniel Ricciardo initially thought so, as he mentioned it over team radio at the time. There were many replays and the usual trial by social media, but after an investigation from the stewards, Valtteri Bottas’s 0.201 reaction time was found to be a start within the tolerances of what is permitted.

The FIA even issued a further clarification on how they measure this to try and lay the story to rest, as you can read here:

That didn’t stop a little bit of audible banter in the podium room, and although it was all smiles between the three drivers, Seb was still questioning the numbers in the post-race press conference.

You can watch that here, and make your own mind up.

Kvyat Plays Dominoes at Turn 1

Sometimes, drivers get great starts and drivers make up many places, leaping others who’ve not been so lucky. Today was one such day for Fernando Alonso, but he didn’t get to make use of that gain, through no fault of his own.

We saw Max Verstappen slow to move, and we now know from him post race interviews that he had a clutch issue, and the anti-stall kicked in. Fernando took off down the outside, gaining places and passing a near-stationary Carlos Sainz, and must have almost momentarily high-fived himself when he saw Daniil Kvyat in his mirror, just ahead of him making contact. Kvyat hits Alonso, Alonso hits Verstappen, and we all watch the carbon fly.

You can watch the race start again here:

https://twitter.com/F1/status/884034959853400064

Post race, Kvyat commented “It’s upsetting for me and for the others for sure, but these things happen to all drivers. Now I just need a cold shower before Silverstone, have a look into it, correct what needs to be corrected and move on.

Come and join us on the campsites at Silverstone, Daniil. I’m sure we can find you a shower just like that ahead of the race…

And Then There Were Three!

Today’s win by Valtteri Bottas in relation to the finishing places of both Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton leaves us with an interesting and exciting situation in the driver’s championship, with all three in contention. It’s what all fans have been saying they wanted in F1 – a fight in the championship with no one driver running away with it.

Up until today, we’d probably all assumed it was a straight Lewis versus Seb run-in, despite knowing that Bottas is certainly a talent. Looking at the scores on the doors post-Austria, it’s clear to see that things could get very interesting in the next few races. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see how that will unfold!

Next up, it’s the British Grand Prix, and whilst there’s much talk of Silverstone being about to activate the the break clause to cease holding the race after 2019, that is equally matched by efforts from F1’s new owners to engage more with the fans and verbally committing to keep the race. We shall watch how that develops, but one thing is for certain – Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to build on the boost that he gets from being in front of the home crowd at a circuit he loves. And that means we will have a race on our hands!

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Craig Norman <![CDATA[Four reasons to watch the Austrian Grand Prix]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=804346 2017-07-06T06:22:33Z 2017-07-06T06:22:33Z After the barmy race in Baku - complete with week-long tension over an FIA tribunal - Formula One's next location on its whistle-stop tour of the world sees it land at the Red Bull Ring. But what storylines are dominating the build-up to the Austrian Grand Prix?

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After the barmy race in Baku – complete with week-long tension over an FIA tribunal – Formula One’s next location on its whistle-stop tour of the world sees it land at the Red Bull Ring. But what storylines are dominating the build-up to the Austrian Grand Prix?

Will Verstappen finally get some good luck?

Image: Octane Photos

Formula One has had its share of excitement at the front of the grid in recent races, but the lack of the exciting young Dutchman Max Verstappen has robbed fans of possibly even more. As the season has progressed his luck has turned south in terms of reliability of his Renault power units – the last two races has seen Verstappen retire at around the 10 lap marker thanks to failures, while teammate Daniel Ricciardo has gone on to score four straight podiums, including a victory in the chaos of Azerbaijan.

If this run does continue, then the relationship between Verstappen and Red Bull could sour to a point. There have been comments that may have been made in the heat of the moment by an immature head, but Austria would be a great place to gain a much-needed result. As long as that Renault power unit holds out.

Red Bull seek more success on home soil

Traditional Austrian attire made an appearance in 2016 – Image: Red Bull Racing Content Pool

Speaking of Red Bull, the team haven’t had the greatest of results at this track, one that’s another asset in team owner Dieter Mateschitz’s impressive portfolio. Last year was their most successful – Verstappen finished 2nd and Ricciardo 5th – but the result was skewed slightly by the Mercedes duo’s scrap in the final moments. All things considered, it’s not a happy hunting ground.

The RB13 has also been a troublesome car this season, falling behind its rivals due to a different philosophy in design and a slightly underpowered by Renault in comparison to Ferrari and Mercedes.

Yet hope is high for Speilberg, especially coming off the surprise victory in Baku. Can Red Bull keep up the progress made in recent races and be the fly in the title fight ointment?

Honda hopes pinned on Stage Three

Start. Stop. Complain. Repeat. – Image: Octane Photos

As much as it’s great to look into the chances of McLaren-Honda each and every race, the whole debacle now feels like a stuck record on Groundhog Day.

Despite a 9th place finish and two world championship points in the last race for Fernando Alonso – which for him must now feel like a victory – Honda is planning on improving fortunes by implementing upgrades to improve performance and reliability.

Whether these actually work is now in the hands of the racing gods, but with Fernando continuing to use team radio as an outlet for criticism, it’s only a matter of time before something gives. And it might just be a contract clause.

Vettel vs. Hamilton is now toxic as well as competitive 

Image: Octane Photos

All it took was a few seconds of Sebastian Vettel losing his head and the mood of title fight has turned, from a back-slapping mutual love-in to something a bit more feisty. We now have on our hands a more traditional “I don’t like you” one-on-one battle that feels, well, a bit more Formula One.

Any ramifications of Vettel escaping any further punishment from the FIA will come from the media at the event, as the pre-race press conference will now be a hotbed of questioning for the German, as well as for Hamilton too. Every facet of their emotions towards each other will be prodded and cross-examined before they even get into a car and compete on the track.

No matter how you feel about both parties, if you’re a fan of either, both, or just the sport in general, the Austrian Grand Prix now has another layer to it for all involved. Both Vettel and Hamilton have experience of animosity towards title rivals and the psychological mind games involved, so seeing everything play out is going to fascinating – not just at this race, but for the rest of the season too.

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Craig Norman <![CDATA[Video – Felipe Massa on his career in Formula One]]> https://badgergp.com/?p=816720 2017-07-05T13:14:21Z 2017-07-05T13:14:21Z In this exclusive interview for Mobil 1 The Grid, Brazil’s Felipe Massa reflects on his F1 career to date; from the early days at Sauber to working with Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, and his 2014 move to Williams Martini Racing.

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In this exclusive interview for Mobil 1 The Grid, Brazil’s Felipe Massa reflects on his F1 career to date; from the early days at Sauber to working with Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, and his 2014 move to Williams Martini Racing.

Presenting a personal account of his career highs and lows, Massa discusses the influence of Ayrton Senna, Schumacher and Sir Frank Williams, his 2008 title battle with Lewis Hamilton, his accident in 2009 and why his recent U-turn on retirement has left him hungrier than ever before.

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